BADMINTON: Taylor hoping to star on the European stage

Natalie Taylor (right) with partner Sarah Burgess.

Natalie Taylor (right) with partner Sarah Burgess. - Credit: Archant

Natalie Taylor hopes to be holding court on a major sporting stage later this year.

The 37 year-old, who lives in Little Paxton, has been selected to represent Great Britain at the European Senior Championships in Madrid this September.

She will play in the women’s singles, women’s doubles (along with regular partner Sarah Burgess, from Hampshire) and mixed doubles (when teaming up with Ely-based Neil Place).

Taylor is particularly hopeful of a good performance alongside Burgess in the women’s doubles following their dominant success in the All England Over 35 Ladies Doubles this year.

She said: “Myself and Sarah won the All England open without losing a set so we’re hopeful that we can do well at the Europeans, although the likes of Russia and Denmark always put out strong teams.”

Taylor reached the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles and last 16 of the mixed doubles when playing in the European event in Slovenia in 2016.

She is no stranger to top-level sport after being part of the Great Britain junior gymnastics squad as a child, but she was forced to give up that sport at the age of 12 following injury.

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Taylor, who grew up in Wales after being born in Cambridge, took up badminton a couple of years later and quickly became a hit on the court.

She reached the Welsh junior squad and was earmarked to represent the country at senior level until putting the sport on the back-burner to concentrate on her career.

Having relocated to Cambridgeshire, Taylor took up the game again in 2005 and played on the national tournament circuit while representing the county.

She played in local leagues for the next decade but it wasn’t until 2015 that mother-of-two Taylor began competing seriously again.

She has enjoyed plenty of success since then, winning the Over 35 mixed doubles at the English National Senior Championships during the 2016/17 season and then added the All England doubles prize to her collection this year with Burgess.

Taylor was also a mixed doubles runner-up at the English National Senior Championships in 2015/16 and the All England Open Over 35s Ladies Doubles in 2016/17.

All players taking part in the European Senior Championships are self-funded and Taylor is seeking sponsorship from local businesses or individuals to help cover the cost of her trip to Madrid. Her JustGiving page can be found at